Tropical Storm Michael forms, forecast to become hurricane

Gov. Scott said, "With the National Hurricane Center forecasting Tropical Depression 14 to strengthen and impact Florida's Panhandle as a hurricane, families need to get prepared".

The National Hurricane Center at 4 p.m. CDT issued its first advisory on the storm, which is getting better organized over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.

The storm was located by midday Sunday about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Cozumel, Mexico. The tropical depression may achieve hurricane status with wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or higher before it makes landfall on Wednesday. "The system could become a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday", the National Hurricane Center said in its 10 a.m. update.

Tropical Storm Michael was recently near Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. A separate area of persistent very heavy rainfall is expected along the Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico, including western Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the state of Chiapas in Mexico.

Scott declared an emergency when it was Tropical Depression 14 on Sunday morning.

A news release from the governor's office said declaring a state of emergency ensures that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare for the storm.

When the storm approaches the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, a gradual strengthening is forecast as the system moves to the north, according to the NHC's discussion of the storm. Higher amounts of 3-6 inches are possible toward the Florida panhandle.

Michael became the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season Sunday afternoon and has it sights set on the northern Gulf Coast by Wednesday. We will closely monitor it as it becomes more organized. The hurricane center said Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft were en route to investigate the storm.